Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Josh Hutcherson Recalls 'Insane' 'Hunger Games' Fan Experience

Actor who plays Peeta also tells MTV News he's ready to 'dive full-force' into the next 'Hunger Games' movie.
By Josh Wigler, with reporting by Josh Horowitz

Josh Hutcherson at the "Hunger Games" premiere
Photo: Getty Images

With great power comes great responsibility, and Peter Parker isn't the only guy who knows this: It's a philosophy that on-the-rise actor Josh Hutcherson knows all too well, as the former "Amazing Spider-Man" contender steps into the coveted role of District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark in "The Hunger Games," out in theaters on March 23.

As the baker's son, Hutcherson plays one of the three key leads in Lionsgate's surefire blockbuster based on author Suzanne Collins' original novels, and one of the two young men vying for the affections of leading lady Katniss Everdeen. It's been a surreal journey for Hutcherson to be sure — and though the actor is no stranger to surreal journeys, even he has to admit that the full-fledged "Hunger Games" fan experience has been nothing short of breathtaking.

"We've seen some insane signs [across fan tours]," Hutcherson told MTV News about his interactions with "Hunger Games" fans so far. " 'Is that a loaf of bread in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?' Funny stuff along those lines. Very original. One just said, 'I will do unspeakable things.' I thought that was very interesting ... and mildly terrifying!"

The words "mildly terrifying" don't even come close to describing the events of "The Hunger Games." Prior to the world premiere in Los Angeles, Hutcherson had already seen the thrilling film "once, by myself, alone on a couch in a dark room." Following that lonely viewing, Hutcherson said seeing the movie with 5,000 fans would be "quite the experience," especially considering his love for the character of Peeta.

"I'm so excited. I love Peeta so much," said the actor. "I think that over the course of the next couple of books, he has so many interesting places to go to, character-wise. I'm ready to dive full-force into it. When I saw the movie actually, it got me energized. 'Let's go get some cameras! Let's go shoot the second one right now!' "

Indeed, Hutcherson only has one "Hunger Games" movie under his belt, but he already has his sights set on the future. Asked which Peeta scene he's most excited to film, he answered: "For me, in the third book, when Peeta gets brainwashed by the Capitol, that's going to be fun to play. The rest of the time he's very much into Katniss, and for that to get turned around and to play it the other way, that's going to be very exciting."

Check out everything we've got on "Hunger Games."

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